The Nissan Laurel was launched by Nissan in the year 1968 in 2-door and 4-door variants. The production continued for a long time and there were 8 generations of the car between 1968 and 2002 (the year it was discontinued). The generation that interests me the most is the fifth generation. Launched in the year 1984, the car came with four petrol engines (2-litre four cylinder, 2.4-litre six-cylinder, 3.0-litre V6 and an electronic carburettor 3.0-litre V6). It also came with the option of a 2.8-litre diesel engine. This was the first generation of the Laurel to feature the V6 engine.
The Nissan Laurel got a minor facelift in the year 1987 which included slight changes to the exteriors. The car got bigger bumpers, new grille and new headlights as well as tail lights. The vehicle resembled its elder cousins like the Cedric and the Gloria but was slightly smaller than them. Although the car looked like a normal sedan from the outside, the interiors were what differentiated it from the rest. Back in those days, the car had a leather covered dash, plush fabric seats, a double-din radio and cassette player, AC, electrically adjustable ORVMs and power windows. All these features were unheard of in the segment the car was launched in.
Since Indian economy hadn’t liberalised back then, such cars could only be imported by the rich and the famous. The vehicle that I own was imported by a foreign embassy and I bought the car when it was auctioned in the year 1997. Japanese cars haven’t got the “Reliable” tag overnight. Even older cars like the one mentioned above were utterly reliable. Never has it left me stranded on the road. All it needed was its periodic service. But somewhere around 2004, after clocking close to 2,00,000 kms, the Nissan Laurel started giving some engine troubles. Finding a qualified mechanic and the spare parts became really tough and the car had to be replaced by a Toyota Corolla.
But the Laurel still stays. It shall be restored to its former glory someday, one day!